“Cost-conscious households are one reason employment in the childcare industry has dropped 1.8 percent since the recession ended June 2009, even as total U.S. payrolls increased 2.1 percent. Jobs in the sector hover at levels of five years ago as unemployed parents watch their children at home, states cut childcare subsidies and the birth rate is at a 12-year low.

The industry’s challenges reflect those facing the U.S. labor market, which has seen 42 consecutive months of unemployment above 8 percent and disproportionate joblessness among women. As of June 2012, men have regained 46.2 percent of the jobs they lost since the start of the recession, compared to 38.7 percent for women, according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, in Washington D.C., which analyzes payroll data.”